Black box of PT-6 training aircraft yet to be retrieved

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

The black box of the Sri Lanka Air Force PT-6 training aircraft which crashed recently is yet to be retrieved.

The Sri Lanka Air Force said it has completed preliminary investigations into the crash in Kantale earlier this month.

Air Force Spokesman Group Captain Dushantha Wijesinghe told Colombo Gazette that the report has been handed over to the China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation, which is the Chinese state owned defense company authorized to sell military equipment to other countries.

Discussions are underway with representatives of the Chinese organization, from which Sri Lanka had purchased the PT-6 aircraft that had crashed.

Group Captain Dushantha Wijesinghe said the Committee appointed by Air Force Commander Air Marshall Sudharshana Pathirana to probe the crash is in constant communication with the Chinese firm via video conference.

Stating that the black box of the aircraft is yet to be retrieved, he said it will help ascertain the root cause for the crash.

The Air Force Spokesman further said the Committee probing the crash will decide on whether or not to request for experts from China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation to assist the investigation.

He added that a decision is yet to be made in this regard.

The PT-6 training aircraft belonging to the flying and training wing of the Air Force base in China Bay, Trincomalee crash landed in a field near the ‘Janaranjana’ tank in Suriyapura, Kantale on 15 December.

Officer Cadet Amarakoon KRSVB had taken the aircraft on a solo training mission as was the procedure of the training institute. He was pronounced dead upon admission to the Trincomalee hospital.

Following the crash, Air Force Spokesman Group Captain Dushantha Wijesighe told Colombo Gazette that the Chinese assistance was not required at the time as the Air Force was well versed with the operations of the PT-6 aircraft which had been in operation for over 15 years. (Colombo Gazette)

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